Working Group on Design & Technology

1988, Vol. 21, No. 1,


We report here, with permission the summary of the interim report of the Working Group on Design and Technology chaired by Lady Parkes.I. We have adopted the term 'design and technology' to describe the area of curriculum with which we are concerned. The term emphasises the intimate connection between 'design' and 'technology', as well as implying a concept which is broader than either individually (1.6). 2. It might be objected that a more appropriate title would be 'Craft, Design and Technology' which is already widely used in secondary schools. However, while CDT has much to contribute, we are dealing with an activity broader than CDT which, to quote our terms of reference, 'goes across the curriculum, drawing on and linking in which a wide range of subjects' (1.8).3. Our usage of the term 'design and technology' is not intended to devalue 'craft' - craft skills are essential means to the achievement of many design goals (1.7).4. The special characteristic of design and technology (D and T) is that pupils learn the capability to operate effectively and creatively in the made world. D and T is an activity carried out with definite purposes in mind, within specific constraints and requiring value judgments at every stage. It has its own distinctive non-verbal ways of thought including use of imagination and 'imaging' (1.9 - 1.12). 5. It is essential that pupils actively engage in the processes of design and technology. Practical involvement is fundamental. An additional dimension is appreciation ofthe social and economic impact of design and technology (1.14).6. We emphasise the provisional nature of our thinking as D and T lacks a research base and a school curriculum tradition comparable to that of other subjects in the national curriculum (1.15).7. D and T needs to be sufficiently broad, balanced and relevant to ensure that all pupils, regarqless of age, sex and ability can be engaged and their motivation for learning sustained (1.16).

Full Text: PDF